Show Details

Kissing Roundup

June 9, 2006

We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. But it turns out kissing may give it some competition.


Can kissing cure hayfever? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If conventional treatments don’t do much to help your hayfever, you might try a half hour of smooching. Japanese researchers had twenty four hayfever sufferers kiss for 30 minutes; they also had them try cuddling without kissing. The kissers showed a significant drop in their levels of Immunoglobulin E, a blood chemical that stimulates histamines which cause itching and sneezing. Cuddlers showed no drop. Of course, the study was too small to be conclusive, so much more research is needed.

In related news, University of Chicago researchers found that the over-the-counter drug pseudephedrine was just as effective at relieving hayfever symptoms as the presecription drug montelukast. Both drugs improved congestion, runny nose and sneezing with few side effects.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.